Jake Holden continued to impress the Australian Superbike paddock on his privateer Woodstock Bourbon/ Evolution Sports Group Honda against the factory machines. The Washington native concluded his invasion assault on the Australian Superbike field with a fourth place overall finish in Sunday’s Superbike race and first place in the Privateer Cup.
Holden first impressed the Australian Superbike field when he was able to come to grips with the Australian track quickly. After a single twenty five minute practice session that was half wet half dry, he was sent out for the only twenty five minute qualifying session. Holden qualified seventh after admitting that he wasn’t even sure where he was going because he was never able to hook up with one of the faster competitors. In addition to not knowing the track, Holden’s bike was suffering from an intermittent misfire that would only happen in the left hand corners two, eleven, and twelve.
Before the afternoon final on Sunday, the Woodstock Bourbon/ Evolution Sports Group Honda crew swapped out the entire wire harness, bank angle sensor and throttle bodies in an attempt to rid the machine of the misfire. With no time to spare the crew pushed Jake out for the final race. When Jake gridded up after the sighting lap, a marshall noticed that a part of the wire harness was dangling out from the belly pan and made Jake leave the grid. The crew realized that an unused lambda sensor was the culprit and quickly tied it up and out of the way and sent Holden out to catch the field on the warm up lap.
When the lights went out, Jake had a great start and was mixing it up with the lead group of five before a red flag brought a premature stop to the eight lap race. The field re-gridded for a six lap final and when Holden went to re-fire his Honda, it wouldn’t start. The marshalls were able to push start Holden’s bike and he had to run down the field on the warm up lap. When the lights went out for the final final, Holden got a great start and drove around the outside of the field through turns two and three. Holden battled up to fourth position but was unable to match the speed of the leading three bikes down the front stretch, he would pull out of the draft in an attempt to pass only to have the front three pull away. At the finish line he was a close fourth and had gapped the pursuing field. Unbeknown to Holden, the Australian Superbike Championship also scores a Privateer Cup within the Superbike race. Holden would learn of the Privateer Cup when the ASBK officials presented him with the first place Privateer Cup trophy.
Jake Holden Speaks…
"I really want to thank Wayne Hepburn and the entire Woodstock Bourbon/Evolution Sports Group Honda team. They invited me over and made me feel welcome by really taking care of me both on and off the track. People keep asking me if I am coming back for any more rounds. I told them I hope so. Murph (Syndicate’s Michael Murphy) and I talked about the possibility of racing here full time next year if nothing works out in the AMA. I really enjoyed the people, the racing and the track here in Australia and I just want to keep racing next year."